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How do people feel about TN shifting?

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  • BrilliantRain
    started a topic How do people feel about TN shifting?

    How do people feel about TN shifting?

    So, over in the Mummy Kickstarter thread there were a bunch of people objecting to TN shifting powers coming back again. I have no idea how they were implemented, but it made me wonder what people thought of it in Exalted. I know some people weren’t fond of the large number of dice tricks in the Solar charms, but it hadn’t really occurred to me that people might not like TN shifting.

    Personally, I don’t see it as a big deal and I like how it sets apart those splats that connect with Fate, but I will admit that I bounced off Sidereals a bit because of how weird their powers were, and I suppose it’s possible that TN shifting might have been part of that.

    I’d still hate to see it go though.

    Anyway, what are your thoughts?

  • Ghosthead
    replied
    Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
    I’ve never personally seen the massive restriction to the idea of a closed charmset. I can count on one hand how many custom charms I’ve seen in my entire time playing Exalted.
    In practice, sure. The Sidereals disadvantage is really "Short, strong, limited Charm trees with deliberate holes" and to allow this disadvantage to remain meaningful "No custom Charms" exists mostly to prevent them filling the deliberate holes by copy-pasting Charms from DB+Solars, right? You won't see Custom Charms in Solars because frankly they're powerful enough to do whatever they want anyway* and there's no obvious model for what they want that they don't already have. Would probably not be so much the case with Sidereals were custom Charms actually freely permitted but everything else the same.

    But Blackwell's "Eventually" I am presuming is some very high level endgame in which lack of custom charms it is in fact a problem in and of itself beyond the above. (That this isn't germane to most played experience is part of the wider problem of the argument that "MA can be strong because eventually every Sidereal must branch into it, and every build is eventually an MA build"!)

    *in 1e+2e partly because everything coheres around a small body of Charms that really matter (and a lot that don't are ignored), while in 3e probably because many people are like "Enough with the different dice tricks and Charm overload already!"

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  • Ghosthead
    replied
    .................
    Last edited by Ghosthead; 11-29-2019, 04:51 PM. Reason: edit: weird random doublepost

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  • Alistair
    replied
    Originally posted by limaxophobiac View Post


    Except for the number of styles for which I think this is a big disadvantage I largely agree with you?

    I was mostly arguing against the idea that what sidereal MA needs compared to the NPC rules is a straight buff. If you want sidereals to be master of martial arts in general, rather than masters of some martial arts while being mediocre with others, without having the ones like Righteous Devil that work well with TN shifting go completely out of control they need an excellency that works like the solar excellency, because the solar excellency is what existing MAs seem to be balanced around.

    Oh, I may have misinterpreted this then. Yeah no I am fully in favor of overall, replacing the current Sidereal Excellencies with something that works like Solar and Lunar ones; I believe I recommended a success-adder Excellency (fits with fate manipulation) with a cap of (Ability) successes or static values, and dice-adder Charms would get (Ability x2) by definition.

    Edit: I don't agree with the whole "Any Sid with combat aspirations should go into MAs anyway" thing on the following post, that said; one of the goals for them in 3e, if I am not mistaken, was to make their native Charmsets completely viable for combatmonster Sids, while keeping their reputation as masters of the martial arts. I sure as hell don't want to feel like shit as a Battles Sidereal (who gets like three combat Abilities as Caste by obligation) when I simply cannot compete against the Endings PC who went MAs.

    The size of their Charmsets iirc is being expanded to fit 3e's standards anyway, it's just that they cannot (easily) make Custom Charms so what they get is what they have to work with, but that also comes in with a side of "All Charms are obscenely strong for their entry cost", like having Shun the Smiling Lady as an entry-level, Essence 1, no-prerequisite Charm. And they get Starmetal Evocations with ease so Artifact-wielding Sidereals can be more of a thing than, say, Liminals that don't go out of their way to get The Best Limbs Ever. So the entry assumptions are flawed anyway.

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  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    I’ve never personally seen the massive restriction to the idea of a closed charmset. I can count on one hand how many custom charms I’ve seen in my entire time playing Exalted.

    For the Sidereals they could just have a mutual lockout for MA charms. Either a higher cap or TN reduced but not both at once, and shouldn’t be higher than the solar cap. Sidereals aren’t actually the masters of martial arts anyway, Solars are, it’s even a bullet point in the “why would I want to play a Solar anyway?” section in the corebook. The Sidereal relationship with MA is special because of Sidereal Martial Arts, which are strange, powerful, esoteric techniques that let you shatter sorcery with your fist, pluck out somebody’s eyes and have them still work, trap somebody in a grapple made from their own doubts, stuff like that.

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  • Ghosthead
    replied
    Originally posted by Blackwell View Post

    Between the size of the Charmset, SMA, the restriction on custom Charms, and their lack of facility with Evocations, every Sidereal with any combat aspirations is going to get into Martial Arts eventually anyway.
    That's a reasonable prediction (if they keep the design features like that, it seems hard to avoid), but that's never line of argument has been a good counter to early game "trap" bad builds which have big disparities, in the range of the game where most everyone plays, and which people generally go through to get to "eventually".

    Ox-Body sucking in 2e was a problem never really solved by "Eventually high essence Solar players, if their characters survive that long, will generally get the idea". If you have beginning players outside of the forum conversation where people have a base of knowledge rolling up Battles who specialize in Brawl, and Melee and ostensibly should be good, it doesn't really solve the problem of that character being a lot worse than a character with less investment in one Ability, if "eventually....". (It's equally not solved well by putting this knowledge in the book).

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  • limaxophobiac
    replied
    Originally posted by Alistair View Post


    I literally posted all the Charms that would screw Sidereals over earlier on this thread, and just for the Styles in Lunars it was already way too many. I'm not saying they're not powerful, I'm saying that Sidereals have to pay extra motes/WP to have a generic dice trick incorporated into their Excellency help them out because they get WAY less bang for their buck than Solars or Lunars or even Dragon-Blooded when using a bunch of MA Charms that add dice or successes. Especially those that are defensive in nature. So when a DB can get +3 dice from a MA Charm and a Sidereal can only get +1, they only access the Mastery tag under specific conditions while Solars/Abyssals/Infernals have it permanently on, they have no access to MA Supernal, AND they have to pay extra to make up for it, it doesn't really feel like they're all that good at Martial Arts. Just that they cheat the numbers to get Bigger Successes... like they already do with everything else.

    Except for the number of styles for which I think this is a big disadvantage I largely agree with you?

    I was mostly arguing against the idea that what sidereal MA needs compared to the NPC rules is a straight buff. If you want sidereals to be master of martial arts in general, rather than masters of some martial arts while being mediocre with others, without having the ones like Righteous Devil that work well with TN shifting go completely out of control they need an excellency that works like the solar excellency, because the solar excellency is what existing MAs seem to be balanced around.

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  • Alistair
    replied
    Originally posted by limaxophobiac View Post
    It's really not that many, and those that do will generally be at or under the cap (Liquid Steel Flow f.ex. is E2 charm and gives one successes, which hits the cap, same with Dual-Slaying Stance also at E2).

    For the handfull that this isn't true for they might be suboptimal for sidies but that's going to happen with any dice-trick mechanic.

    Also anyone thinking sidereals with the excellency as-is would be getting "royally screwed" with MA should check the numbers on a sid using Snake Strikes the Heel, or just how stupid the reflexive aim actions from Righteous Devil Form get when TN shifted.

    I literally posted all the Charms that would screw Sidereals over earlier on this thread, and just for the Styles in Lunars it was already way too many. I'm not saying they're not powerful, I'm saying that Sidereals have to pay extra motes/WP to have a generic dice trick incorporated into their Excellency help them out because they get WAY less bang for their buck than Solars or Lunars or even Dragon-Blooded when using a bunch of MA Charms that add dice or successes. Especially those that are defensive in nature. So when a DB can get +3 dice from a MA Charm and a Sidereal can only get +1, they only access the Mastery tag under specific conditions while Solars/Abyssals/Infernals have it permanently on, they have no access to MA Supernal, AND they have to pay extra to make up for it, it doesn't really feel like they're all that good at Martial Arts. Just that they cheat the numbers to get Bigger Successes... like they already do with everything else.

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  • limaxophobiac
    replied
    So to demonstrate the TN problem going to the sidereals advantage, above mentioned sidereal Righteous Devil getting her aim dice is beating her solar equivalent by 1.4 average successes on decisive attack rolls at E2 (again for half the motes), and then adding another 0.8 successes per additional essence level. Since TN-shifting flattens the probablity curve, she also gets close to her average successes more consistently which when you're on-average winning is a good thing.

    The problem with the sidereal excellency isn't that it makes them weak, it's that it the way their competency works isn't what the mechanics of game and the MA charms are balanced around, and its consequences are IMO bad for the game. There's no good reason for sidereal Crane stylists being barely better than DBs before E4, while sidereal Righteous Devils are unstoppable gun-gods, and putting some patch for the Crane stylist (and other styles that don't thrive on TN-shifting) in the sidereal charmset without breaking the Righteous Devil completely is going to be hard.

    I also dislike how basing the dice-cap on essence tilts toward the 2e 'elder problem', putting the cap at 'lower of essence or 5' helps but still doesn't feel ideal.
    Last edited by limaxophobiac; 11-29-2019, 02:00 PM.

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  • limaxophobiac
    replied
    It's really not that many, and those that do will generally be at or under the cap (Liquid Steel Flow f.ex. is E2 charm and gives one successes, which hits the cap, same with Dual-Slaying Stance also at E2).

    For the handfull that this isn't true for they might be suboptimal for sidies but that's going to happen with any dice-trick mechanic.

    Also anyone thinking sidereals with the excellency as-is would be getting "royally screwed" with MA should check the numbers on a sid using Snake Strikes the Heel, or just how stupid the reflexive aim actions from Righteous Devil Form get when TN shifted.
    Last edited by limaxophobiac; 11-29-2019, 07:48 AM.

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  • vwllss trnt prncss
    replied
    Originally posted by limaxophobiac View Post
    Why would Sidereals need any kind of bonus to martial arts other than being able to TN shift their dicepools in the first place?
    Because many MA Charms add dice. If Sidereals have a dicecap of ESS, then the "Masters of Martial Arts" get royally screwed on a bunch of MA Charms. Which doesn't leave them feeling like masters.

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  • limaxophobiac
    replied
    Why would Sidereals need any kind of bonus to martial arts other than being able to TN shift their dicepools in the first place?

    Their withering attacks are amazing from E1 with TN shifting, and already at E2 they can roll better than solars on decisive attacks with a stunt, (10 +1 +2 +2)*0.8 = 12 average successes, vs solars (10 +1 +2 +10)*0.5 = 11.5 with just excellencies, for just 5 motes vs. the solars 10.

    Their defense values being really crappy in comparison is certainly a problem (but in that it results in wonkiness like favoring clashing all the time rather than them being weak) but saying sidies as-is don't have big advantages with MA is ridiculous. If nothing changes about their excellencies and whatever means they need to get mastery keyword access isn't too cumbersome, at E5 they're going to be noticably better marital artists than E5 solars.
    Last edited by limaxophobiac; 11-29-2019, 01:45 AM.

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  • Alistair
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    Unless, of course Sid Thrown, Melee, Archery and Brawl have Charm's which don't depend on dice rolls. Like the Charms presented for the QC. Or their Native Charms are more powerful than Mastery Martial Arts Charms (as Solar Charms are). Or Native Charms are more versitile, letting you fire rats out of your bow, or healing arrows, or fire a harsh word which transforms mid flight into a bolder.

    You could just deprive Sids of an MA Excellency, giving them a higher dice cap which is harder to reach.

    But ultimately, Martial Arts should be the most powerful Sid combat ability, as Melee should be the most powerful Solar combat ability.

    I disagree with both of those last arguments, personally. Martial Arts should be great for Sidereals on the basis that they can access Sidereal Martial Arts and Mastery and also that they can endlessly keep getting more Styles without being limited by a closed Charmset, but not any more powerful/combat-viable than their native Charmsets; you want to make Sidereal Archers or Meleeists as viable in a fight as a Sidereal Martial Artist, or otherwise no one picks their native stuff over MA ever because their MAist friend will simply outshine them relentlessly. And Melee should not be, and is certainly not (in 3e) the most powerful Solar combat Ability. Brawl and Archery are both quite strong and I wouldn't say they are weaker than Melee (simply differently focused), Thrown being extremely versatile, and powerful if you also have Stealth investment. Whether they're written well or not is a whole other issue.

    Personally I'd just say the Sid MA Excellency has a dice cap of (MA x2) and they cannot lower their TN through excellencies, and then make MA-compatible Brawl Charms that lower TN by one each on attack rolls or raise the opponents' when defending. That is, if forced to stay with their QC/Iron Siaka excellency, instead of just reworking the Excellency entirely.

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  • Lanic
    replied
    Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
    Unless, of course Sid Thrown, Melee, Archery and Brawl have Charm's which don't depend on dice rolls. Like the Charms presented for the QC. Or their Native Charms are more powerful than Mastery Martial Arts Charms (as Solar Charms are). Or Native Charms are more versitile, letting you fire rats out of your bow, or healing arrows, or fire a harsh word which transforms mid flight into a bolder.

    You could just deprive Sids of an MA Excellency, giving them a higher dice cap which is harder to reach.

    But ultimately, Martial Arts should be the most powerful Sid combat ability, as Melee should be the most powerful Solar combat ability.
    Or they can combine MA charms with their native charms, like Lunars. This would make a lot of sense.

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    Originally posted by vwllss trnt prncss View Post

    But then any Sidereal attacking using anything but Martial Arts is screwing themselves five dice (and remember, that's five TN-shifted dice) compared to the guy using MA. You'd totally and instantly obsolete Sidereal Thrown, Melee, Ranged, and Brawl.
    Unless, of course Sid Thrown, Melee, Archery and Brawl have Charm's which don't depend on dice rolls. Like the Charms presented for the QC. Or their Native Charms are more powerful than Mastery Martial Arts Charms (as Solar Charms are). Or Native Charms are more versitile, letting you fire rats out of your bow, or healing arrows, or fire a harsh word which transforms mid flight into a bolder.

    You could just deprive Sids of an MA Excellency, giving them a higher dice cap which is harder to reach.

    But ultimately, Martial Arts should be the most powerful Sid combat ability, as Melee should be the most powerful Solar combat ability.

    Leave a comment:

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